There is a lot happening today, so let's get right to it:
The Iranians have taken 15 British naval soldiers hostage. The sailors, who were boarding ships in Iraqi waters, which they have legal cover to do, were directed into Iranian territory and are being held there. Iran did this back in 2004 as well, and only some heavy negotiations and serious hardball prevented any larger crisis from erupting. Interestingly, 48% of respondents at CTV suggest that "military action" against Iran would constitute an appropriate response. I would be happy with some more deep negotiations and, that failing, buzzing Ahmedinejad's house with a couple British fighter planes. Tehran increasingly seems hell-bent on provoking a confrontation with the Anglo-American alliance, and I'm not certain as to why. It's not what would fit under the category of "Iranian national interest," after all.
The U.S. Congress has passed a resolution that would mandate all US forces in Iraq be out of the country by the end of 2008. Because I'm a nerd, I listen to the President's Weekly Radio Address and Tony Snow's press gaggles on my iPod. Therefore, I can pass along word that GWB is going to veto this. Guaranteed. Given that the resolution passed only slimly, and the Democrats don't have total unanimity and can't count on the Republicans to want to tuck America's tail between its legs, there's no hope of it being overridden, either. All the talk about a constitutional crisis is talking-head hot air because the executive is going to win this battle very easily.
Sponsorship is back! The Tories have brought to a life a new entity to handle federal sponsorships, but they're wisely avoiding the use of the word "sponsorship" given that it has a rather tumultuous history in recent Canadian politics. As Kinsella has long been saying, sponsorships work. Cutting the program entirely on his first day of the job, Martin threw out the baby with the bathwater. The Conservatives are wise to bring it back, as promoting Canada is never a bad idea.
Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe says he's not afraid of "little fellows" like Tony Blair and George Bush. The man who has turned this former Commonwealth member into an international pariah is taking a page out of Chavez's book and talking tough, insisting that he'll resist any efforts by the West's Anglo-American partnership to unseat him. Given that there's no such effort on the table, it's the type of second-rate nationalist rhetoric that may be popular at home among his supporters but it makes him look like a dummy to the rest of the world. Even Qaddafi was smart enough to be just a little afraid of Bush & Blair, but this windbag that orders assaults on any and all political opponents is yelling in an echo chamber here.
Have a good weekend!